Cape Girardeau sees increase in public bathroom vandalism

This year, the city of Cape Girardeau reports an increase in vandalism involving public restrooms.
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 6:48 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - This year, the City of Cape Girardeau has seen an increase in the vandalism of their public restrooms, as more residents finding them locked during the day.

“This is the city that we live in and we all like to have a nice place to take our kids to play and use the restroom without dirty writing and stuff like that all over the walls,” Venessa Angel said.

Angel was out enjoying time with her children at Capaha Park, and said she’s often had a problem with the condition of public restrooms.

“I feel like every time they build a new bathroom, it ain’t but a couple months later there is writing all over the walls, there’s just trash,” she said. “The soap dispensers are always knocked down. We have to take our kids in there and it just kind of stinks.

On Monday afternoon, March 14, a public restroom located on the south end in downtown Cape Girardeau had a door that was locked.

A problem residents are having if they need to use these facilities.

“They are actually busting sinks, toilets, which means we have to shut the restroom down, close it up,” City Park Manager Brock Davis said.

He said time to do maintenance and repair on the bathrooms is why people will sometimes find them locked.

“It seems like almost on a weekly basis we are having to do some kind of maintenance because of vandalism,” he continued.

And that affects more than just city employees.

“It costs the city and the taxpayers money. It pulls us away from other duties. The citizens aren’t able to use the public restroom when they need to because we have to close it when we have to order parts,” he said. “We are trying to go vandal proof. Stainless steel and do those type of things a little harder to damage.”

It’s part of a solution Vanessa Angel hoped to see in the near future.

“Maybe people can get it together and do what they need to do to come together as a community and stop vandalizing out bathrooms,” she said.

City Park Manager Davis asked anyone who sees someone damaging the public restrooms to please notify the Parks and Recreation Department or report it to the police.

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